New Restaurant Brings Backyard Barbecue Concept to Keego Harbor

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Yardbird Smoked Meats, a new restaurant offering smoked meats and old-fashioned griddle burgers is open for business in Keego Harbor’s former Jeremy Restaurant and Bar, which closed earlier this year.

The 80-seat eatery’s design and menu are reminiscent of authentic Texas barbecue, says Chef Jeremy Grandon, who co-owns the restaurant with designer Brad Cousens.

“We wanted the restaurant to be a reflection of the local neighborhood and lifestyles of the residents of surrounding communities,” Grandon says.

The menu includes barbecue sandwiches consisting of meat that has been smoked in-house using Michigan apple, cherry, maple, and oak woods; platters that feature smoked brisket, sausage, and ribs; and burgers cooked on a griddle and served with fries. Other comfort foods include buttermilk-fried yardbird, or chicken; smoked salmon filet; macaroni and cheese; and fried green tomatoes.

Desserts will include bourbon butterscotch pudding, sundaes using Ray’s Ice Cream, Vernors and Faygo floats, and homemade cakes. There’s also a selection of craft beers, wine, and specialty cocktails featuring select bourbon.

“Yardbird … was created out of diners’ preferences for a more back-to-basics culinary experience, without sacrificing quality and sophistication,” says Grandon, a station chef at the former Tribute in Farmington Hills. “It’s all about serving great food, simply prepared, accompanied by a modern, down-to-earth beverage selection, in an atmosphere that is both easygoing and cool.”

For the décor, Cousens — who also owns Dukes Chicago Bar in Chicago’s Lincoln Park — used reclaimed lumber, old iron skillets, dark wood, and aluminum seating, along with a restored terrazzo floor. Outside, a rustic, split rail fence outlines an outdoor patio that offers both wrought iron and wood picnic table seating. Light bulbs strung overhead provide a backyard barbeque feel.

What’s more, a custom-branded vintage bicycle will be used to make local carryout deliveries starting next summer. The bike, which is parked on a rack, includes space for customers’ bikes.

The restaurant, at 1978 Cass Lake Rd., is open daily from 4 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 248-681-2124 and visit yardbird.cool.

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